Monday, April 21, 2008

Knight Riders win by 5 wkts

Kolkata Knight Riders won the match by five wickets against Deccan Chargers here on Sunday in the fourth Indian Premier League (IPL) match.

Kolkata Knight Riders won both of its two matches. Kolkata Knight Riders achieved the win in the 19th over. Hussey played an impregnable innings of 38 runs. Captain Sourav Ganguly and Mohammed Hafeez scored 14 and 13 runs respectively.

From Deccan Chargers, Vaas and Ojha achieved two wickets each, whereas, RP Singh bagged only one wicket.

Earlier, Deccan Chargers gave 111-run target to Kolkata Knight Riders.

Andrew Symonds played the lone battle with a fine 32, but the rest were clueless against the seamers and spinners alike.

VVS Laxman had no hesitation in batting first, but early into the second over, the pitch came into play. Ishant Sharma got deliveries to balloon off a good length and his fearsome pace only exacerbated the agony for the batsman. Each time the ball thudded on the surface, a puff of dust went along with it and that was to be a regular feature.

The surface had even the most experienced batsmen all at sea. Laxman's stint was nothing short of a nightmare. Walking in at the fall of the first wicket - that of Venugopal Rao, steering one straight to gully of Ishant - Laxman had no time to settle down. He was the victim of a nasty Ishant lifter which kicked and rapped him flush on the glove and his instant reaction was to shed his glove in a flash and shake his hands vigorously. A worried Billy Bowden immediately whipped out his walkie-talkie, presumably communicating his anxieties about the dustbowl, but after a brief hold-up, play continued.

Laxman wasn't expected to hang around for too long and his maiden IPL innings ended tamely, miscuing a pull to Laxmi Rattan Shukla at mid-off. The pitch too was partly to blame for his downfall as the ball stopped before reaching him. Ajit Agarkar ambled in for a forgettable over, during which he leaked 16 runs. The over went against the run of play as Adam Gilchrist flicked him high over fine leg off the first ball, then deposited it over long-leg two balls later, before creaming one past backward point.

Sourav Ganguly, the captain, swiftly brought an end to the brief carnage by operating spinners from both ends. Then move intensified the pressure on the hapless batsmen, as deliveries turned square, remniscent of a crumbling fifth-day pitch. Murali Kartik got one to grip, shoot up and bamboozle Symonds on the forward prod.

The Australian duo of Gilchrist and Symonds failed to repair the damage as Gilchrist holed out to long leg off a short delivery by Kartik. Hafeez then deceived Scott Styris in flight, before Kartik returned to claim Rohit Sharma. A helpless Symonds at the other end struggled to push the scoring but cut loose in the 17th over, clattering three sixes over the on side off David Hussey.

Hussey had the last laugh when he hung on to a skier to get rid of Symonds and the innings folded up in the 19th over. The target of 111 may be below par by Twenty20 standards, but one can expect the home side to approach this with caution. Time will tell if this was a good toss to lose for Sourav Ganguly.

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